This gallery features a comprehensive display of the three major periods in the medieval history of Cairo: the Fatimid (909–1171), Ayyubid (1169–1260), and Mamluk (1250–1517). Known for its history, rich culture, and diverse population, Cairo has played a vital role in the artistic life of the Islamic world for centuries. Under Mamluk rule, Cairo became one of the wealthiest cities in the Near East and a hub of artistic and intellectual activity in the Arab world. On display are an outstanding selection of woodwork, gold jewelry from the Fatimid period, textiles, splendid inlaid metalwork and enameled glass from the Mamluk period, and luster-painted ceramics.
This gallery also offers another point of entry into the whole suite, from the adjoining European Vision of North Africa Gallery (804), which is overseen by the Department of Nineteenth-Century, Modern, and Contemporary Art.